Sunday, 27 April 2014

Peter Doig & Summer Rolls

The weekend started off on a good note. We went for drinks (5a7) in Old Montreal on an outdoor terrasse that had beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence and Old Montreal. We may have been a bit too enthusiastic for patio weather as it was pretty chilly but we warmed up quickly after a few drinks. 
 For months I've been trying to get to the Peter Doig exhibit at the Montreal Arts Centre. I had never heard of the British artist before but the publicity surrounding the event had me intrigued. On Saturday we finally had the time to go (no paper writing, yay!) and it was very rainy so it seemed like the best use of our time. His work really impressed me (not that I'm hard to impress). After taking an oil painting class early in the year we were a bit more knowledgable as to how much effort goes into creating a painting. It really is a long and well thought out process! This one above was one of my favourites.
 I also really loved this one. Peter Doig uses lots of vibrant colours but also uses the colour white in a very stark version of the colour. I loved how he drips paint down the canvas, so neat!
Above is his most famous work, the red canoe. We thought it looked like Alcatraz in the background. 

 Saturday night I finally got around to making fresh spring rolls or Summer rolls as they're also referred to. I have intended on making these healthy treats for YEARS but for some reason they always seemed too difficult. After making them I can assure you they are anything but difficult, very easy in fact! What I love about them is you can really make up your own recipe as to what fillings you would like. Picture above (in very dark and dim lighting because it was raining and our kitchen lighting is brutal) are all the veggies, noodles, herbs and egg chopped up uniformly, all ready to be rolled up!
 For our spring rolls we included a scrambled egg pancake, julienned red pepper, carrots, avocado, rice noodles and basil or cilantro (A really dislikes cilantro but I love it, compromising here was very easy!).
And voila! The finished product all wrapped up and ready to be dipped in a delicious homemade peanut sauce.

Summer Rolls a la Brooke: makes 5 large rolls
5 sheets of rice paper
2 eggs
Half a red pepper, julienned
2 medium sized carrots or 10 baby carrots, julienned
1 avocado, julienned
1 cup of vermicelli rice noodles
Basil (either 4 springs for 9 springs depending on the ratio with cilantro)
Cilantro (about 1/4 cup finely chopped for 3 rolls, more if using in all 5 rolls)
*I also think green onions, baked tofu, julienned cucumber and/or a lettuce of some sort would be a great addition!

Peanut Sauce:
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon-1/2 teaspoon of red chill flakes depending on your spice preference
1 tablespoon agave nector
1/2 cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons of lime juice (I only had lemon juice and it worked just fine!)
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1. First make the peanut sauce, blend all the above ingredients together and add a little bit of water if the mixture needs to be more creamy. Set aside until rolls are all made.
2. Make your egg pancake: whisk two eggs together and fry them in a small frying pan, flipping over once to evenly cook both sides. After the pancake has cooled, chop in half and then chop julienne style.
3. While making the egg pancake, make the rice noodles as instructed on the package (usually place in salted boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes, strain, dry and set aside).
4. Make rice paper according to the package instructions.
5. Assemble! I placed the rice noodles first onto the rice paper in the centre, then placed the red pepper and carrot on either side. After I put the herbs (either basil or cilantro but you could also put both) on top of the noodles followed by avocado and egg. To fold the paper, fold either the right or left side of the paper over the filling, tightly. Then fold the top and bottom of the rice paper leaving only the right or left side. Then fold the right or left side tightly over the other folded parts.
6. Cut in half or keep whole, serve with the peanut sauce and enjoy!

We really liked these summer rolls and I will definitely be making them again in the warmer months. I may also use this peanut sauce recipe and fiddle around with it to make Pad Thai, updates on that to come!